(Washington, DC) The National History Bee has just concluded its fourth annual high school National Championships which were held on Sunday, April 27 in Arlington, VA. Over 330 students from as far away as Saipan took part in six rounds of preliminary and three rounds of playoff competition to determine our National Champions – Jonathan Leidenheimer of George Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia and Daniel Yan of Farragut High School in Farragut, Tennessee!
Leidenheimer won an extremely competitive Varsity final as the first to reach twelve points among a group that also included runner up and 2013 champion Sameer Rai of Bellarmine College Preparatory (San Jose, CA), third place finisher Eric Xu of Western Albemarle High School (Crozet, VA), and fourth place finisher Nate Weiser of Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy (Austin, TX). For Leidenheimer, the victory was especially sweet, as he had finished as runner up to Rai both in the Junior Varsity division in 2012 and the Varsity division in 2013. Eric Xu was the only junior in the group, so he’ll have another chance in 2015, while Weiser’s Bee finish capped off an incredible afternoon for him, as he was named Most Valuable Player in the National History Bowl, where his team from LASA captured the Varsity National Championship. The final included a number of memorable moments, including Leidenheimer’s exclamation of “Astor! Astor! Astor!” to successfully identify the notable American family, and unmatched camaraderie and sportsmanship for a National Championship, as the four students routinely complimented each other on their impressive buzzes. The final score ran 12-8-7-6 among the four finalists in order of finish.
In the Junior Varsity competition, Yan’s victory came just a few hours after he led his team to a second place finish in the National History Bowl. Chandler Burrows of Rolla Junior-Senior High School in Rolla, KS finished as the runner up, after he had earlier led Rolla to a second place finish in the Small School Junior Varsity History Bowl competition. The JV final ended 12-7 in Yan’s favor. Tennessee is now one of two states (California being the other) to have both a Varsity and JV History Bee National Champion (Mark Arildsen of the University School of Nashville won our inaugural Varsity Bee in 2011).
Videos of our National Championships are available in our video library and copies of the questions used can be found at www.hsapq.com/samples (scroll down until you reach 2014 National History Bee and Bowl Nationals).
We’d like to thank all players who competed for an incredible competition, and to all our readers, scorekeepers, and tournament staff who made our tournament possible. Our planning begins this coming week for the 2014-15 competition year, culminating once again in Arlington, VA at our 5th National Championships on April 26, 2015. See you there!